For the past 20 years, Sister Carole Peloquin has been changing the lives of incarcerated men, now thanks to the help of the Charites des Soeurs du Sauveur Fund, her legacy will continue to provide an intentional community of support for those exiting the prison system.
In the 1990’s Sister Peloquin was called to work in the justice system and eventually took on a full-time role as Chaplain for a federal prison. Through her work she developed great relationships with the men behind bars and upon their departure would say “I hope to never see you here again!” Unfortunately, she would see many of the same faces year after year. With programming cuts in the judicial system, they were left to their own devices to navigate their time in prison. Sister Peloquin created Future Hope, sessions of self-discovery where participants would learn about the Enneagram, a personality assessment tool which helps people understand what motivates them, why they may make the choices that they do and to develop a deeper acceptance of themselves. She saw a difference in her participants, but many of them returned to jail.
She discovered, they often didn’t have a safe place to land after leaving prison, so she and Father Creamer, a Jesuit priest, opened up Quixote House, a property they rented, to provide temporary housing for men leaving prison. There, the men would continue the Next Step programming while learning how to live in a supportive community, cooking cleaning and helping one another. Many participants use this opportunity to reconnect with family and develop, or rekindle, other important relationships in their lives. Still, Sister Peloquin and Father Creamer noticed it was difficult for many participants to move on after Quixote House, and find affordable housing, so they purchased and renovated a house in the neighbourhood and created 4 apartment suites. They named it Massie House, after Father Massie another Jesuit priest who believed in compassion and forgiveness. Men can stay there for a year or two, to gain employment experience and the chance to find affordable housing on their own.
Louis Balcaen, volunteer at the same prison as Sister Peloquin was chaplain, became aware of Future Hope and saw that it could use some assistance, as it was running almost solely on Father Cramer and Sister Peloquin’s efforts. He connected Future Hope with The Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba, which provided financial assistance, made possible by Les Charités des Soeurs du Sauveur fund. This financial assistance, is helping to create a sustainable model of funding for the organization. Through this assistance, Future Hope is strengthening its leadership, governance structures and solidifying community partnerships.
The Charités des Soeurs du Sauveur Fund was created in 2008 and is managed by Dorais Charités. Since its launch, more than 70 different groups and organizations, have received support, to help meet critical needs in the community, such as housing for people experiencing homelessness, healthy meals for hungry children in our province and much more.